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Madison County officials urge mask use with coronavirus cases on the rise

Hospitalizations in Madison County have seen a considerable increase over the past two weeks and officials are asking community members to wear masks in an effort to cut down the spread.

Posted: Jun 22, 2020 7:16 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2020 7:46 PM

As coronavirus cases in Alabama surpass 30,000, Madison County officials say hospitalizations are on the rise.

David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital, called the increase “fairly substantial.”

“Last time, I reported we had eight COVID positive patients that were in the Madison County facilities. Today, we have 23,” Spillers said of the rise over the past two weeks.

Among those hospitalized in the county, shortness of breath and fever are what most commonly brought them in.

The percentage of positive tests is also on the rise, even with a significant amount of testing being done to asymptomatic people, according to Spillers.

“For the longest time, I presented to this group that about three percent of all of our tests were running positive,” he said. “That’s now up around six to eight percent of the tests we run are coming back positive.”

Nearly 26 percent of those admitted in Madison County end up in the ICU -- where patients have a 33 percent mortality rate. Only six deaths have been reported in the county so far.

The most surprising number, according to Spillers, is the average age of someone admitted to the hospital -- currently sitting at 54.6.

“People tend to think this is much more skewed towards the elderly - and, if you look at mortality, it is much more skewed towards the elderly,” Spillers explained. “For me, 54 is not old at all.”

While the numbers are on the rise, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says the city is not in a position where a mandatory mask ordinance is necessary.

The mayor has been very vocal about mask use in the community. Though he is urging people to wear them, he hasn’t put forth any ordinances yet and says things are currently in a monitoring phase.

“In areas where you can stay separated, you may not need to wear a mask,” he said, “but in those areas where you come close to people, you’ve got to wear a mask.”

Spillers, also a strong advocate of mask use, says it’s not political, it’s just logical.

“I think that that’s the single most important thing we could do to try to minimize the spread of coronavirus,” he explained.

While the city has discussed the possibility of a mask ordinance, Battle says it would take a significant spike to get into a position where they’d be ready to draft something.

On Monday, Battle said around 700 new cases would put an ordinance “in consideration.”

But with that would come the challenge of enforcement.

“How would you enforce it?” Battle asked. “How are you gonna make sure that four year old keeps his mask on? I have a four-year-old grandson, it’s gonna be kind of hard to keep him in a mask.”

If the city got to a point where a mask ordinance was in serious consideration, Battle and the city would be in contact with Montgomery and Birmingham - who both have policies in place - to discuss some of their best practices.

Battle said he believes the Huntsville community cam get through the pandemic better than any other community in the state, so long as they focus and mask, sanitize and stay separated.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4802152
Montgomery3947103
Mobile3904134
Tuscaloosa218842
Marshall168010
Lee130237
Madison12717
Shelby117623
Morgan10475
Walker90524
Franklin87814
Dallas8689
Elmore86414
Baldwin8289
Etowah70713
DeKalb6945
Butler62328
Chambers61227
Tallapoosa58369
Autauga56012
Russell5190
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4736
Limestone4660
Lowndes46321
Houston4614
Cullman4354
Pike4175
Colbert3836
Coffee3702
Bullock3679
St. Clair3472
Barbour3452
Covington3437
Escambia3326
Calhoun3225
Hale30621
Marengo30011
Talladega3007
Wilcox2898
Sumter28412
Clarke2726
Dale2680
Jackson2632
Winston2463
Monroe2312
Chilton2282
Blount2261
Pickens2226
Marion21413
Randolph2019
Conecuh1977
Choctaw19512
Bibb1861
Greene1838
Macon1819
Perry1621
Henry1313
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1050
Washington1047
Cherokee857
Geneva780
Lamar751
Fayette671
Clay622
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48712

Reported Deaths: 633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11145197
Davidson10450118
Rutherford285435
Hamilton266533
Sumner155952
Trousdale14945
Williamson122614
Knox10865
Out of TN10657
Wilson89117
Putnam8537
Robertson81511
Sevier7683
Lake6910
Bradley6623
Tipton6335
Bledsoe6181
Unassigned5811
Bedford5455
Montgomery5347
Macon4363
Maury3263
Hardeman3255
Hamblen3144
Fayette3102
Madison2802
Loudon2771
Rhea2760
Dyer2401
McMinn22718
Cheatham2251
Blount2123
Dickson2010
Cumberland1784
Lawrence1526
Washington1420
Lauderdale1393
Monroe1376
Jefferson1250
Gibson1211
Coffee1170
Anderson1162
Obion1132
Smith1111
Sullivan1082
Hardin1047
Greene952
Haywood922
Cocke900
Franklin823
Wayne820
Marshall811
Hickman800
Warren720
Marion714
White703
McNairy680
Weakley631
Lincoln610
DeKalb600
Grundy591
Overton591
Roane590
Hawkins572
Carter561
Giles561
Unicoi550
Henry450
Campbell441
Carroll441
Henderson440
Polk440
Claiborne410
Grainger400
Johnson390
Cannon360
Crockett343
Meigs330
Perry330
Sequatchie330
Chester300
Humphreys271
Jackson260
Morgan251
Stewart230
Decatur220
Fentress220
Scott180
Clay160
Union160
Houston140
Benton131
Moore120
Van Buren80
Lewis60
Pickett60
Hancock30

 

 

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